The statewide strike by employees of Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) to press their demands added to the hardship of the people in the two districts. According to the police, the protest affected both the districts where shops remained closed and private bus services kept off the roads.
No incident of violence was reported from anywhere. The strike was called by the LDF demanding withdrawal of the notification issued in November last by the Union Environment and Forests Ministry regarding the Kasturirangan panel report on Western Ghats conservation, which bracketed 120 villages under Ecologically Sensitive Areas category.
Though Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has exuded confidence that the Centre would consider the state's demand not to implement the report in its present form, Union Minister Veerappa Moily has refused to set a timeline for addressing the state's concern.
The LDF leaders held that the Centre's "vague" response to the state's demand signalled that an early decision on the issue that agitate thousands of families was not in sight. KSRTC buses went off the roads in most parts of the state in response to strike called by various unions demanding withdrawal of "anti-labour" provisions in the package being implemented for revival of the loss-making public utility.